Launch Rockets at the Sleeping Dragon!

Saturdays are the gaming day at my local game store The Sleeping Dragon.

So in i went with my rockets to see if i can drum up some interest locally in the game.

After a slow start in the store where i sat and chatted to Shane who runs the store on Saturdays, Conrad turned up and after a chat about various geekery he decided to give war rocket a try.

I took my Imperials once more so Conrad got to choose between the Valkeeri, The Zenithian saucers or the Space Pirates (The Galacteers being my partners so not for lending) and he opted for the Pirates before i finished listing the others. 🙂  This was my first battle against the pirates and i swiftly saw the danger of these star-stalking-scoundrels. Space Pirates use the same movement as Imperials but with a key difference of getting a free rotation and the option of starting a move with a double-rotation one free and one costing the usual 2 inches to make each 30 degree turn. This makes the pirates much more manoeuvrable than the Imperial rockets. The pirates class 1 and 2 rockets also have the best fire arc in their classes, a 180 degree arc! I’d be relying on my better defence to get me through.

With the same speeds between the factions this made every turns movement order roll-off a tense and crucial phase as we both jockeyed for position and to get out of the others fire arc while getting shots in ourselves.

The first turn within range and one of my scorpions became orbital scrap metal. Something that became a trend in the games that were to follow. After a tiny bit of teething, Conrad took to the movement system like a duck to water and with a lot of natural skill and a little luck there wasn’t an Imperial rocket in motion and the pirates were free to pillage the space lanes!

Jimmy turned up who i often played Monsterpocalypse with and he leapt on the chance to try the game once my game with Conrad and his game of Yugi-oh ended.

Just like Conrad he chose the Space Pirates to start with and just like everyone has he found the game easy to pick up. Once more the Imperial fleet tried to end the scourge of piracy in this sector of space. Again i lost a scorpion to the first round of fire despite the high toughness of all Imperial Rockets. Things turned out a little better for the Imperium this time and casualties rose on each side, at times with rockets destroying each other simultaneously.. but then i realised to my great dismay that a Class 2 Raptor is in real trouble when trying to draw a bead on a class 1 Dagger! Even with delayed actions the turning circle of the raptor wasn’t enough to shake the dagger off its tail. For several turns it was a stalemate between these two remaining rockets as i just couldn’t get a fix on the enemy while Jimmy failed time and time again the roll needed to stun or destroy the Raptor! Poor Jimmy was rolling the number just under the number he needed every turn! Realising that eventually one of the atom rays would wear down the Raptors armour the Imperial captain turned back towards Imperial space making a run for it but the Dagger stayed right behind blasting away and a mere two inches from safety and Jimmy finally rolled a 10 and destroyed the Imperial ship! The excitement was so high that when he rolled that 10 everyone in the room erupted in a cheer, myself included!

Jimmy’s friend Stuart had been watching the game excitedly so i asked if he and Jimmy would like to play a game against each other. Stuart chose the Zenithian saucers while Jimmy decided to try the Valkeeri.

This battle was a short and brutal affair as Jimmy proved to be quite good at handling the Valkeeri movement and their limited arcs of fire making good use of their range. That and the rolls of the pink and black swirly d10 (i like to theme my dice in games so the Imperials use my red and purple d10 with gold numbers, the space pirates a transparent grey d10 with white numbers, the Zenithians a transparent green d10 with white numbers and the Galacteers a blue opaque d10 with white numbers) were much more favourable.

Stuart then wanted to take on the Imperium with the Zenithians and again a scorpion was lost to the first round of fire! This was my first game against the Zenithians who are hyper-agile but very fragile, though this is a game where agility is much better balanced against toughness than most and an equal number of rockets fell on each side when alas it was 1 o’clock in the afternoon and the store was closing so we ended on a draw. 3 and a half games completed in less time than it takes some of my friends to work out their warhammer army list before a game even starts! I’m sure Stuart and I will get a rematch another saturday soon, he was already contemplating purchasing his own Zenithians.

But that wasn’t the end of the Imperiums battles that day… for my friend Brylan was up from Sydney and while i was visiting him at his families home he decided to try War Rocket too. Again it was the Space Pirates against the Empire, again 3 class 1s and 1 class 2 each. Brylan threw his rockets into the fray with gusto and a clinical ruthless precision often denying me shots by millimetres while orchestrating superb combined strikes. I didn’t lose a scorpion on the first round of fire this time but swiftly one was stunned then taken out. Fortune turned slowly against us both as Brylan’s magnificently well orchestrated shots and the desperate attacks i responded with failed to destroy the enemy and several rockets were stunned only to recover. Finally the initiative rolls started to favour my remaining scorpions and then i managed to pin down enough shots to start taking out some of the daggers, though at the cost of the scorpions too. The roles of hunter and hunted kept swapping back and forth in these tight wheelling dogfights as the changing trends of initiative had Brylan take more evasive measures. Then my Raptor took desperate action diving between the planet and it’s moon and swinging round to take out the last Dagger and the last round came down to the will of the dice as the Stilletto and Raptor Class 2’s exhanged atomic rays! In a tense and exciting roll-off the thick Imperial armour held true while the pirates hull gave way! And just in time to clear the table for the dinner Brylan’s dad cooked while we had been playing.

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